Seismic monitoring at the Decatur, Ill., CO2 sequestration demonstration site

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The viability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases depends on the ability to safely sequester large quantities of CO2 over geologic time scales. One concern with CCS is the potential of induced seismicity. We report on ongoing seismic monitoring by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at a CCS demonstration site in Decatur, IL, in an effort to understand the potential hazards posed by injection-induced seismicity associated with geologic CO2 sequestration. At Decatur, super-critical CO2 is injected at 2.1 km depth into the 550-m-thick Mt. Simon Sandstone, which directly overlies granitic basement. The primary sealing cap rock is the Eau Claire Shale, a 100- to 150-m-thick unit at a depth of roughly 1.5 km. The USGS seismic network consists of 12 stations, three of which have surface accelerometers and three-component borehole geophones. We derived a one-dimensional velocity models from a vertical seismic profile acquired by Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) and the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) to a depth of 2.2 km, tied into shallow acoustic logs from our borehole stations and assuming a 6 km/sec P-wave velocity for granite below 2.2 km. We further assume a constant ratio of P- to S-wave velocities of 1.83, as derived from velocity model inversions. We use this velocity model to locate seismic events, all of which are within the footprint of our network. So far magnitudes of locatable events range from Mw = -1.52 to 1.07. We further improved the hypocentral precision of microseismic events when travel times and waveforms are sufficiently similar by employing double-difference relocation techniques, with relative location errors less than 80 m horizontally and 100 m vertically. We observe tend to group in three distinct clusters: ∼0.4 to 1.0 km NE, 1.6 to 2.4 km N, and ∼1.8 to 2.6 km WNW from the injection well. The first cluster of microseismicity forms a roughly linear trend, which may represent a pre-existing geologic structure. Most of these microearthquakes occur in the granitic basement at depths greater than 2.2 km, well below the caprock, and likely do not compromise the integrity of the seal. We conclude that because the observed microseismicity is occurring in the granitic basement, the integrity of the caprock seal has not been compromised by CCS activities.

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Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Seismic monitoring at the Decatur, Ill., CO2 sequestration demonstration site
DOI 10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.461
Volume 63
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Subtype Conference Paper
Larger Work Title Energy Procedia
First page 4264
Last page 4272
Conference Title 12th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, GHGT-12
Conference Location Austin, Texas
Conference Date October 5-9, 2014
Country United States
State Illinois
City Decatur
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